The Lourie Emmaus Community in the Lowveld was established as an offshoot of the Gloriosa Community in Pretoria. A number of Christians from Nelspruit, White River and Barberton had been sponsored by friends, and colleagues who were Gloriosa members, to attend walks at DSG in Pretoria. After about thirty people had attended a walk in Pretoria it was decided that Gloriosa would assist this tiny core of members to establish their own Emmaus Community in the Lowveld. The first Lowveld Emmaus Men and Ladies walks took place under the banner of the Gloriosa Community in Barberton in July 1995. The venue chosen for this auspicious walk was Barberton High School. Emmaus Ministries South Africa members and Gloriosa members trained and worked alongside the group who ran these initial Lowveld walks. A steering committee was established with Theo van Ghent as chairperson and Community Lay Director. The Reverend Mike Basel served as the Community Spiritual Director.
Improved walk facilities were sought and it was agreed that Maria Trost in Lydenburg was the ideal venue. The steering committee identified the name “Lourie Community?which was approved by Emmaus Ministries South Africa. In April 1996 walks no 3 and 4 of the now official Lourie Community took place in Lydenburg using a skeleton number of volunteers on the support team.
The Lourie Emmaus Community has gone from a handful of members to 1616 at present. True to its ecumenical stance the community members come from different Christian traditions and denominations including Roman Catholic, Protestant, Pentecostal and Charismatic traditions. As one of the members wrote in a newsletter,”Somehow, in the Emmaus movement, we manage to find the essence of Christ’s message which we all share, rather than the human trappings which serve to drive us apart?
Lourie Emmaus Community has in turn assisted Middleburg and Witbank in establishing a Community known as the Papillion Emmaus community. It is hoped that Tzaneen will soon be able to establish a local community.
One of the primary strengths of Emmaus is the follow-up. A weekend lasts 3 days (72 hours), but you are invited to build on it for the rest of your life, through;
- Expanding your spiritual life through study and congregational participation at your own church community.
- Becoming more active as a disciple of Christ in the world through your home church:
- To nurture this discipleship, Emmaus also offers some specific opportunities (these are not compulsory):
- A small reunion group that meets regularly to maintain spiritual accountability;
- Quarterly community gatherings for fellowship and worship; Two post walk gatherings take place in Nelspruit and two local area pre-walk gatherings are also catered for.
- Opportunities and training to support and participate in leading future Walk.
To get involved in Emmaus, each person must have a sponsor who has already attended Emmaus. If you have a friend who has been to Emmaus, ask your friend to tell you about his or her experience with the program. Your friend can help you decide whether or not you would find an Emmaus experience helpful. Or you can contact the Lourie Community directly using the details on this website to assist you. The person who sponsors you is not responsible for the walk fee but is responsible for transporting you to and from the venue and for upholding you in prayer and ?keeping the home fires burning?nbsp; whilst you are on the walk.
Being a member of the Lourie Emmaus community makes you part of the wider Christian Family who are there to support you after the weekend through prayer and friendship, as you continue on your Christian Journey.